Saturday, December 08, 2007

Fetuses Learn to Play Sports, Bulk Up

I was browsing science news yesterday, when I stumbled upon this gem. It seems that there is company called AmnioTrainer producing “in vivo” sports training products for FETUSES! They don’t have U.S. approval yet and there is a debate about the potential hazards of the products. The company’s current products include AmnioBall Futbol and AmnioShock Strength Trainer.

AmnioBall Futbol measures 1.2 centimeters in diameter when inflated, but is inserted surgically while uninflated. Once in the womb, it is filled with the mother’s amniotic fluid so that the ball does not float or sink. A harmless strain of the E Coli bacteria genetically engineered for bioluminescence gives the ball a faint glow, encouraging the fetus to interact by grasping, punching, and kicking. 3D and 4D ultrasound images and movies posted on the company’s website seem to verify these claims. According to AB, the Futbol product will be available for implantation throughout the U.S. and Europe in mid-2008.

AmnioShock Strength Trainer uses low-current high-voltage technology similar to that used for weight loss and strength training in adults to stimulate fast-twitch muscle fibers, allowing fetuses to develop superior strength and speed without the use of pharmacological agents. The Strength Trainer product will be not be immediately available in the U.S., but is available at several clinics in China and Central America. The delay in primary markets is over concerns that trial data showed a slight increase in pre-term deliveries in the study but not the control group. The “significant but not pronounced” decrease in gestation time should not be a concern, according to the company spokesperson. However, AmnioShock Strength Trainer has provoked strong criticism from a number of groups including Fetal Rights Watch and the Preschool division of the Pan Americas Youth Soccer League.

While AmnioTrainer’s methods are debatable, there seems to be no doubting the results. According to the trial results, which began in Brazil on January 8th, 2005 with 127 second trimester fetuses, the performance of two-year-old children trained with AmnioBall Futbol was on average 12 percentile points higher in kickball and 17 points higher in soccer. Results from AmnioShock were varied but showed an overall average of 34% strength gain across all major muscle groups.


roentarre said...

Quite hard to understand but a good post regardless

Codegate said...

This is one of the most interesting articles I have read for quite some time. It is literally mind-blowing when you think of the emphasis and importance that we humans place upon playing games. With any new technology or procedure, there may be side effects that are not immediately apparent, perhaps not showing up until years later. There was a psychologist who conditioned an infant to be afraid of white mice, but a side effect was that years later he was afraid of any white creature (such as cats and dogs) Who knows what long term effects this could have? And to be willing to take that risk with your unborn child??? There are plenty of people out there who can't have children and would be happy to just have an average, healthy infant.

Charles said...

This is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard of. There is such a thing as starting to early and trying to hard, and I think this is a perfect example of that. It seems to me that fetuses have quite a lot to do in 9 months without having some glowing ball shoved in their face to play with. I would prefer to just let things take their natural progression.

Chelle B. said...

Oh, how offensive!

Leave it to the soccer nuts to develop this sort of technology.

Great article.

Chelle B.
The Offended Blogger

Konnie said...

cmlmtwIm intrigued that someone has tried to develop a training device ( to give the fetus something to do while growing) for the unborn. However, no matter how small or
" healthy the strain of e-coli to be used inside the ball. I find it to be objectionable to actually place this strain inside a foreign body with in the mother, to be played with by the fetus. Daily we are confronted with new health conerns and I can say I feel this ball is a great idea but that the contents of the ball should be of another substance.

Arif said...

When i reading this post really interesting one. But i don't have complete knowledge about this games. It's shows a meaningful insight for game lover.

Jacquelino said...

Fetus World Cup? Excuse me while I vomit all over a small country. This is wrong in every regard, and this is even coming from a guy that thinks blowing up the Universe is funny.

Part of having a kid is the element of surprise in how the kid's going to grow up (of course, I don't mean the negative aspects of it like an extra arm or whatever). If you want your kid to be a sports person, you teach them sports and leave it at that. Staging fetus soccer in your womb won't stop your kid from being an accountant that likes D and D instead of Tom Brady.

Great job bringing this to my attention.

-Dave, AKA Jacquelino

xmoonx said...

Okay, here is my opinion on this topic. This is a horrible idea. I'm sorry, but all they are doing is messing with God's natural way of doing things and how fetus's naturally develop. Who KNOWS what could happen down the line to these children or what could happen during these "exercises" to them. It is a very dangerous process and it is for what? Making children a little more sports inclined and athletic? Please, I would rather my child be happy and healthy and not take the gigantic risk of hurting them or KILLING them. So, in the end, I really hope that this treatment will never be approved for the United States.

Izznasty said...

Wow this is beyond crazy. There are enough problems with a regular pregnancy why mess with it.
But, who is to try to stop the free market. If you don't like the idea don't have it done. I don't think I'd have my little Jimmy play with an amniotic freak though. It doesn't seem to be a fair advantage. Who thought of this, the underground society for crazy soccer moms? Yikes.

Caleb said...

This is utterly insane. Do we really value sports, or having an all star son, this highly? did you know that more women are beat on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year? Just a little fun fact. But I digress. Anyway, electro-shock-fetal-workouts are the wrong idea. If some one thought up infant tattooing I think some people would speak up.

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